NEXT GENERATION OF ATHLETIC TALENT ON UK MEDAL HUNT

22 Aug 2007

Welsh Disability National Talent Academy Manager, Gerwyn Owen (far left) with Academy members in LimerickWales’ next generation of disability sporting stars are set to be a major force to contend with at the 2007 UK School Games, when Britain’s brightest young sporting hopefuls gather for the showdown in Coventry from 23rd – 26th August.

The UK School Games – which made its debut in Glasgow only last year - features eight different sports at five venues in the West Midlands city. This year, the Wales team has placed its focus on one of their strongest events – athletics.

12 year-old Amy-Claire Davies, from Llansamlet, Swansea, will be the youngest member of the team representing Wales, and the only Welsh disabled contender in the pool at the showcase event.

The seven-strong Welsh athletics team will have to pitch themselves against some of the most talented sporting youngsters of school age to defend junior titles, claim new records and smash personal bests.

They have all been plucked from the Disability Sport Wales Young Talent Academy, which is designed to ensure that young Welsh disability athletes showing medal potential are provided with the essential starting blocks to progress in their sport from a young age.

Six of the team, however, have first-hand experience of the level of competition required, having made a hugely successful medal haul competing at the inaugural event last year.

It will feature the 2006 Welsh gold medal winners Samuel Scott, who lives in Newport, Shropshire, and Jenny McLoughlin from Chepstow.

16 year-old Scott will be looking to exceed his own junior record in the boys’ wheelchair discus, which stands at 9.79 metres, and hopes to match a medal to his Welsh female stable-mate, Tyler Thomson - also 16 - from Caerphilly, to win, as both vie to bring home gold in the event.